“Berger’s work is an invitation to reimagine; to see in different ways,” writes Tom Overton in the introduction to this volume. As a master storyteller and thinker John Berger challenges readers to rethink their every assumption about the role of creativity in our lives.
In this brilliant collection of diverse pieces—essays, short stories, poems, translations—which spans a lifetime’s engagement with art, John Berger reveals how he came to his own unique way of seeing. He pays homage to the writers and thinkers who infuenced him, such as Walter Benjamin, Rosa Luxemburg and Bertolt Brecht. His expansive perspective takes in artistic movements and individual artists—from the Renaissance to the present—while never neglecting the social and political context of their creation.
Berger pushes at the limits of art writing, demonstrating beautifully how his artist’s eye makes him a storyteller in these essays, rather than a critic. With “landscape” as an animating, liberating metaphor rather than a rigid defnition, this collection surveys the aesthetic landscapes that have informed, challenged and nourished John Berger’s understanding of the world. Landscapes—alongside Portraits—completes a tour through the history of art that will be an intellectual benchmark for many years to come.
“Berger is a masterful observer, a trait that lends his writing a profound element of artistry: these essays read like sketched studies of an as-yet-painted masterwork...these worldly essays are timeless, inspiring works of critical observation.”
“Rich, with a broad, pluralistic approach and collaborative ethos”
“John Berger teaches us how to think, how to feel how to stare at things until we see what we thought wasn’t there. But above all, he teaches us how to love in the face of adversity. He is a master.”
“Berger is a writer one demands to know more about … an intriguing and powerful mind and talent”
“Essential ... reminds us that all good writing comes only from good (that is, patient, attentive, loving) looking.”
“The second collection of Berger's art writing judiciously edited by Tom Overton”
“Life has more light and colour after an encounter with Berger”
“Essential reading not just for our political moment but outside it. He was a monument, a world of his own; at the same time, his thinking and his art—which are the same thing—address themselves at once to the past, the present, and the future.”